Tag Archives: respect

Keep It Simple

I doubt myself sometimes, and I know from experience that you do too. It’s OK, no one is listening – this is just between you and me. My own doubt is partly driven by the fact that I believe so many of the things we need to do to make work better are so utterly simple, that when I think them, let alone propose them, they, and therefore me, seem somehow ridiculous.

I believe we work better together. Some of the things that help us do this are:

  • Giving, building and having trust
  • Noticing ourselves
  • Noticing one another
  • Getting to know ourselves better
  • Getting to know each other better
  • Keeping things simple wherever possible
  • Accepting that small things can and do make big differences
  • Having open access to information, which means we can cocreate power with each other, not exercise power over one another
  • Recognising that creativity is not binary. You don’t just switch it on, you adjust the dials and tease it out. Don’t fear it, play with it, iterate.
  • Having meaningful conversations
  • Taking breaks
  • Finding out what brings joy to one another, and then – try to cocreate the conditions to make that happen
  • Agreeing that respect is not a zero sum game. I want to lift you at the same time as you lift me, or put another way, my success is not dependent on putting you down.
  • Being coactive – that is to say doing things with, for and by each other, not to each other
  • Smiling
  • Practicing – our work is our art

That’s enough for now. Oh, and one more thing. Don’t forget to doubt yourself from time to time:

Nervous

Footnote #1

Thanks Sharon, Julia, Meg, Gareth, John and Richard for a crescendo of compelling conversation yesterday. I’ve had this post in draft for months and you all helped contribute and free it up.

Footnote #2

For every pack of Stop Doing Dumb Things ordered in December I’m making a small donation to Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity. If you’ve been meaning to order some cards for yourself or as a gift to others, now might be a good time? Thanks for your support.

Employee Engagement – There has to be a better way

Employee Engagement – a mighty buzz phrase in the HR lexicon. But hold on a minute…

I haven’t heard of it

I saw some really interesting research data at the CIPD conference earlier this month, published by Surveylab. Their 2013 workplace survey involved over 1,000 people across the world of work, and four out of five had not heard of the term, employee engagement.

I can’t describe it

Are you surprised? I was a little, though when you consider that even Nita Clarke, who with David MacLeod co founded Engage for Success, struggled to explain what employee engagement is to the Queen when accepting her OBE for ‘services to employee engagement and business’ recently, maybe I need to reset my expectations.

Nita Clarke Employee Engagement quoteI don’t believe it

I was taking part in the online #nextchat which is run each week by SHRM over in the USA. This week questions were being discussed relating to disengagement and for the mega keen among you – there’s a storify of the chat here. This exchange between Matt Charney and TeamBonding caught my eye:

Matt Charney and TeamBonding

The chat ebbed and flowed between encouragement and disbelief, and many points in between. What was key to me was how other things like Matt’s comment, and talk of trust, respect and feeling valued landed much more helpfully for people.

Feeling Valued

Surveylab also asked people to respond to the statement ‘I feel valued for what I do’. Whilst feeling valued is also subjective, I nevertheless think this is a much more interesting, powerful and accessible thing to ponder. It implies belonging, whereas the term employee engagement can feel divisive, us and them, to some people. In the survey results, 49% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, and of those people, 90% were overall, satisfied with their employer, 88% enjoyed coming to work, and 93% tried to contribute more than expected of them. By comparison, the figures for those who did not feel valued are 11%, 14% and 72% respectively.

Trust and Respect

Here’s what Surveylab found out when they asked people about trust, respect and fairness too.

Surveylab 2013 Workplace Survey Headlines

Once again, unsurprisingly, those who felt favourable about these important things also registered much higher satisfaction, enjoyment and willingness to contribute. I expect most of us can agree that making work better is important, and there clearly is a camp of employee engagement enthusiasts who think there way is the right way. But you have to ask yourself, if 80% of the workforce have never even heard of the term – isn’t it time to find a better way?

Disclaimer:

I’ve asked and been given permission to use some of the Surveylab data – I have no commercial interest in the Surveylab business and I’m not being paid to share this stuff. I just think the results of their survey are interesting, helpful and a lot more accessible than the nebulous world of employee engagement. If you are interested, the Surveylab blog will have more news as they unpack the learning from this 2013 survey.